April Fools Day comes early

The Long Beach Press Telegram has two items this evening of pranks of the not so funny variety.

Item #1: A 19 year old hacker in Washington state tricked a 911 dispatcher into believing he had killed someone in an Orange County home and was going to kill more, and a SWAT team responded. Of course, there was no threat. The teen was arrested and could face 18 years in state prison.

Surprisingly, this sort of prank has become so common the FBI’s Los Angeles cyber crimes unit says there’s a name for it: “swatting.”

Item #2: On Sunday afternoon, the Southwest and US Airways terminal at LAX was evacuated for two hours after one passenger joked to another about explosives in his checked luggage. He is now in custody and being questioned by the Feds.

8 Replies to “April Fools Day comes early”

  1. To clarify: I’m not implying that you are incorrect in your assertion, but that “no tolerance” policies seriously warp the concept of justice.

  2. Sheesh…”swatting” as if we don’t have enough problems getting police to arrive without that crap. Rather than long jail terms which accomplish nothing how about long probation terms with little bracelets that limit internet access?

  3. “No tolerance” doesn’t warp the justice system in this instance. It may be applied to his being questioned, but not whether or not charges would be applied or what punishment would be given. (Unless I’m missing some details)

  4. I’m using the term loosely. Just the idea that society would find these transgressions so unacceptable that they deserve penalties equivalent to those handed out to real killers. The suggestion that a someone 19 years old could be imprisoned for 18 years (equal to 95% of his life so far) for a hoax is nuts. Nobody was injured by the hoax. Nobody is in danger by the continued freedom of the kid.

    Charge him for the cost of the raid. Fine him to cover the externalities of false raids. Garnish his wages to cover the fines.

    How could 18 years in prison possibly be just (or justified)?

  5. Actually in the case of the OC-tard, someone could have gotten hurt or worse: According to original press reports, the homeowner, hearing noises outside (the SWAT team), went outside with his gun…ooopsie.

  6. I actually know a guy who was almost killed when a man showed up at his door with a shotgun, ready to kill him. An enemy of his had called all his neighbors, telling them that the guy was an unregistered sex offender. Alas, I don’t feel too bad about a harsh punishment for this kind of thing.

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